Productivity Secrets of Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos
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Secrets to the Productivity Mindset of Jeff Bezos

Every entrepreneur wants to increase productivity in their organization. They structure their days to get things done. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, takes a different approach. The secrets of his success and attitudes about productivity have more to do with the way he thinks about his business than the schedule in his daily planner.

Look Ahead and Work Backwards

For Bezos, leaders must orient their productivity toward the future. The tasks of a given day should bring you closer to a long-term goal. He suggests looking at where you want to be in two or three years and working backward from that point. What are the steps you need to take to make it happen? Knowing that you are working toward future success will shape your priorities in the current moment.

Prioritize and Streamline the Decision-Making Process

Employees in a large corporation like Amazon make thousands of decisions every day. If the head of the company is trying to make too many low-level choices, it will quickly devour their time. As a business leader, you want to focus on decisions that will have an impact. Many choices do not have meaningful, long-term effects. You can always change the color palette of your website. Put your energy into decisions that will transform your business, and trust your staff with day-to-day choices.

Bezos streamlines the decision-making process so that the organization can move more quickly from the planning stage to action. He suggests that entrepreneurial leaders should make decisions when they have about 70% of the information they think they need. He finds that there are diminishing returns on additional data. The extra certainty is usually not worth the delay.

Disagree and Commit

A leadership team will not always reach a consensus. Bezos suggests that differing points of view often lead to creative solutions. However, at some point, the leader must make a final decision on the path forward. He asks team members with different points of view if they can trust and commit to his decision. For productivity purposes, a unified commitment is often more important than complete agreement.

The Intersection of Productivity and Creativity

Jeff Bezos believes that putting in extra hours does not necessarily increase productivity. For other leaders at Amazon and for himself, he seeks to cultivate a productive mindset that makes creative connections. For example, Bezos does not schedule any meetings before 10 in the morning. He devotes the earlier hours to unstructured time when ideas can percolate.

The intersection of productivity, creativity, and optimism is the point where success happens. If you are working on a project that excites you and that you think matters, getting things done will not be a problem.

Finding a Partner for Inspired Productivity

At the Productivity Intelligence Institute, I work with entrepreneurial leaders to help them improve their personal and organizational productivity. If you are looking for a partner to help you set business goals and attain them, I would be honored to help you.